Nordic Environmental Permitting Processes

Results from a comparative study of environmental law and processes in Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland


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Environmental permitting procedures have been in the focus of the public debate in all the Nordic countries for some years, leading us to perform a study comparing the decision-making procedures in the five Nordic countries. We focused on two scenarios for starting and changing industrial activities. First, we describe environmental law, the permit procedure and system for supervision and enforcement in each country. Thereafter, highlights are presented from two workshops with representatives from the administrations and different stakeholders in our countries. The discussion focuses on whether the environmental permitting systems are integrated or divided into different procedures, case processing time, time limited or 'eternal' permits, changes in given permits and the relation between the permitting body and the supervising and enforcing authorities of the regulation in given permits.
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